How to Remove Unused Images In Wordpress?

10 minutes read

In WordPress, you can remove unused images by following these steps:

  1. Log in to your WordPress admin panel.
  2. Go to the Media library by clicking on "Media" in the left-hand sidebar.
  3. In the Media library, you will see a list of all the images used on your website.
  4. To identify unused images, you can manually check each image by clicking on it and viewing the "Attachment Details" panel.
  5. Look for the "Used On" section in the panel, which will show you where the image is being used.
  6. If you find images that are not used anywhere on your website, you can safely delete them.
  7. To delete an unused image, click on it to open the "Attachment Details" panel, and then click on the "Delete Permanently" link at the bottom right corner.
  8. Confirm the deletion when prompted.


Please keep in mind that before deleting any images, it's crucial to make sure they are not being used anywhere on your website. Removing images that are still in use can cause broken images on your site. Therefore, it's a good practice to perform a backup of your website before making any major changes.

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What steps should I take before permanently deleting unused images in WordPress?

Before permanently deleting unused images in WordPress, it is essential to take the following steps:

  1. Backup your website: Create a complete backup of your WordPress website, including all files and databases. This ensures that you have a copy of your website in case anything goes wrong during the deletion process.
  2. Analyze image usage: Use a plugin or a built-in feature in your WordPress theme to identify which images are not being used. This could include images that were inserted in posts, pages, or even in your theme files.
  3. Verify image relevance: Double-check if the identified images are truly unused and no longer needed. Sometimes, determining image usage accuracy requires manual inspection of posts, pages, and other site elements to be sure the images aren't used for any specific purpose.
  4. Replace images if necessary: If you find any unused images that are still relevant, consider replacing them in the appropriate posts or pages before deleting them.
  5. Update image paths: Before deleting any images, update the image paths in your posts or pages to remove any reference to the images you'll be deleting. This ensures that broken image links won't appear on your site.
  6. Clear cache: If you have any caching plugins installed, clear the cache to ensure that your website accurately reflects the changes you're about to make.
  7. Perform a final backup: Create another backup of your website, specifically of your WordPress uploads folder, which contains all the images that will be deleted.
  8. Delete the images: Once you've taken all the necessary precautions, you can delete the unused images from your WordPress uploads folder. This can typically be done using the media library in WordPress or through FTP access to the uploads folder.
  9. Test website functionality: After deleting the images, thoroughly test your website to ensure that no broken images or broken links appear. Check various pages, posts, and different devices to ensure everything appears and functions correctly.
  10. Monitor website: Keep an eye on your website after the deletion to ensure that no unexpected issues arise from the removal of these images.


What are the best practices for maintenance of image files in WordPress?

Here are some best practices for maintaining image files in WordPress:

  1. Optimize Images: Before uploading images to WordPress, make sure to optimize them for the web. Reduce their file size without compromising quality using tools like Adobe Photoshop or online services such as TinyPNG or Optimizilla.
  2. Use Proper File Names: Rename image files with descriptive titles and keywords, separated by hyphens. This helps improve search engine optimization (SEO) and makes it easier to manage and find images later.
  3. Organize Images in Folders: To keep your media library neat and organized, create folders to categorize different types of images. Use subfolders if necessary for further organization.
  4. Utilize Alt Text: Always include meaningful alternative text (alt text) for images. Alt text provides a description of the image, making it more accessible to visually impaired users and improving SEO.
  5. Set Featured Images: Assign featured images to posts or pages whenever relevant. This helps improve visual appeal and creates a consistent layout throughout your site.
  6. Delete Unused Images: Regularly review your media library and delete any unused or unnecessary images. This reduces storage space and makes it easier to find relevant files later.
  7. Update Broken Image Links: If you decide to rename or move images within your WordPress site, ensure all references to these images are updated accordingly. Broken image links can negatively affect user experience and SEO.
  8. Backup Regularly: Always maintain a backup of your entire WordPress website, including image files. This ensures that your images are protected in case of any data loss or website issues.
  9. Use a Caching Plugin: To optimize your website's performance, consider using a caching plugin that will compress and cache images, reducing file size and load times.
  10. Compress and Resize Images: If you have existing images on your site that are larger than necessary, compress or resize them using plugins like WP Smush or EWWW Image Optimizer. This will further minimize file sizes and improve site performance.


By following these best practices, you can efficiently manage and maintain your image files in WordPress, ensuring optimal performance, SEO, and user experience.


What is the difference between unused images and orphaned images in WordPress?

Unused images in WordPress refer to the images that are uploaded to the media library but are not currently included or displayed in any posts, pages, or any other content on the website. These images might have been uploaded for future use or were once used but were later removed from the content.


On the other hand, orphaned images in WordPress are the images that were once used in a post or page on the website, but the content has been deleted or the image has been removed from the specific content. However, the image still exists in the media library and is not being used anywhere else on the site.


In summary, the main difference between unused images and orphaned images is that unused images were never used in any content, while orphaned images were once used but have been disconnected or removed from the specific content.


How to efficiently manage and organize images in WordPress to avoid unused ones?

There are several strategies you can use to efficiently manage and organize images in WordPress to avoid accumulating unused ones:

  1. Plan your image organization: Create a logical folder structure within your media library to categorize images based on their purpose or content. This will make it easier to find and manage them in the future.
  2. Use descriptive and unique filenames: When uploading images, give them descriptive names that accurately reflect their content and purpose. This will make it easier to search for specific images later on.
  3. Regularly review and delete unused images: Periodically go through your media library and identify any images that are no longer in use on your website. WordPress offers a Media Library feature where you can easily view unused images and delete them to free up disk space.
  4. Utilize image optimization plugins: Install and use image optimization plugins that automatically compress and optimize images without compromising on quality. This helps reduce the size of your image files, resulting in faster website loading times.
  5. Implement lazy loading: Lazy loading is a technique where images are loaded only when they come into the user's viewport. This helps improve website performance by reducing the initial load time. There are various lazy loading plugins available for WordPress that can be easily implemented.
  6. Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network): Consider using a CDN to serve your images. CDNs distribute your image files across multiple servers located in different regions, reducing the load on your website's server and improving user experience.
  7. Regularly backup your media library: Make sure to back up your media library regularly to ensure that your images are not lost in case of any technical issues or server crashes.


By following these strategies, you can efficiently manage and organize your images in WordPress while minimizing the accumulation of unused images.


What is the recommended method for removing unused images in WordPress?

The recommended method for removing unused images in WordPress is by using a plugin called "Media Cleaner".


Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Install and activate the "Media Cleaner" plugin from the WordPress repository.
  2. Go to the plugin settings by navigating to "Media" > "Media Cleaner".
  3. Run a scan to identify unused media files. The plugin will analyze your media library and create a report of the unused files.
  4. Review the report and manually select the images you want to delete or select the "Auto Clean" option to automatically remove all identified unused files.
  5. Click on the "Start Scan" button to delete the selected images.


It's important to review the report before deleting the files as the plugin might identify images as unused even if they are still being used on your website. Thus, make sure to double-check if the images are truly not needed before deleting them.

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